Governor Gianforte, DLI Launch Tool to Assist Displaced Lumber Industry Workers

  • — April 26 2024

HELENA, Mont. – Today, Governor Greg Gianforte and Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) Commissioner Sarah Swanson announced a new tool to assist workers affected by the recent lumber mill closures.

“Our timber industry is a critical part of Montana's economy, and we understand the challenges our mill workers face with the recent closures,” said Gov. Gianforte. “DLI’s new tool will help Montanans identify their skills and match them to a good-paying job.”

The Skills Matching Dashboard, created by the DLI economist team, identifies the specific skills required in several jobs in the lumber industry and matches those skills to other professions. For example, the skills required to be a log grader match closely with the skillset of a transportation inspector and railroad conductor.

"In the coming months, nearly 250 highly skilled and motivated workers may find themselves unemployed due to recent mill closures," Commissioner Swanson said. "The state of Montana stands ready to assist all laid-off employees find new, gainful employment in utilizing the skills they have mastered over years in the lumber industry."

The tool plays a proactive role in assisting the DLI Job Service team in recognizing areas where workers can upskill to advance their career. When these additional skills are identified, the DLI team takes immediate action in finding and facilitating training and educational opportunities.

Underscoring the importance of preserving the timber industry in Montana, the governor added, “Our mills are part of a proud tradition of promoting our Montana wood products and the timber industry supports our communities and Montanans with good-paying jobs – it needs greater certainty from the federal government. While the industry navigates ongoing challenges, we will continue looking for opportunities to create an environment to support this historic industry and its workers.”

The DLI skills matching tool can be found here.

Job Service offices across Montana are ready to assist with job searches, resume writing, and providing job-specific equipment and resources. Montanans interested in these services can find an office near them here.

Contact Sam Loveridge: Public Information Officer, Department of Labor and Industry
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